When my mum died, Dad gave me a folder full of recipes that she had kept.
Some of her notes are now showing signs of damage and age so I thought I would start putting her recipes online to refer to and perhaps someone might want to have a go at them too and let me know how they get on.
My mum was a great cook both a family one and as a paid cook for a variety of organisations not to forget her famous baking for church and community events.
You will have to do conversions as she worked in ounces and I am not going to change the language she used.
Coffee and Walnut cake
4 oz marg.
4 oz caster sugar
4 oz SR flour
2 eggs beaten
5 tbsp. v.strong coffee
2 oz chopped walnuts
4 oz icing sugar
12 walnut halves
Cream marg and sugar and beaten egg, then 2 tbsp. coffee.
Beat well. Add chopped walnuts.
Fold in flour.
Use 7 ins square tine.
Bake 30-35 minutes mins – gas 4
Mix I sugar with remaining coffee. Spread over cake.
Mark into 12 pieces.
Put half walnut on each.
We have been having a tough time.
Suddenly, we have a tiny glimmer that we hope might turn into a big shining light.
I can’t say much as I am so scared of tempting fate. It may yet come to nothing.
Suffice to say, if the glimmer is more than that, our lives will change radically and soon.
It would mean returning to a town where I did a lot of growing up, probably the first place I went into a pub without my parents.
It is also the place where I first learned about class differences being defined as a juvenile delinquent because I went to a comprehensive school.
It would mean fulfilling a long held dream about the sea.
It would mean more blogger events and easier access to London.
It would mean a fresh and exciting start.
It is but a glimmer.
At the very least, there is a whole lot of dreaming going on this weekend.
Why do I feel so bad about poppies this year?
Why will I not wear one and why does that bother me so much?
I was brought up to respect veterans and current service people. My grandfather was at Gallipoli and had his leg shattered in World War One. My own father served in the Royal Navy in World War Two and thereafter.
As a small child, I used to hear the sound of the Remembrance parade and it stopped outside our church for parishoners to join it heading towards the park and the War Memorial.
I remember the wonderful day when it was judged that my legs were long enough to manage the walk and how I stood with my Dad so proudly wearing my Grandfather’s medals. It became a ritual for us every year, me and Dad standing together.
Social life revolved rounds things like the RAFA club as Dad had served on aircraft carriers so had a RAF connection too.
I went on to marry a man who served in the Royal Air Force.
Last year, I insisted that we attend the Memorial Service in our town as a tribute to all veterans but particularly my late father. I spoke to my children passionately about how much this mattered.
I remember my pride when my husband started working for the Royal British Legion. An organisation that respected others and that cared about the welfare of service and former service people and their families.
After years of loyal service the Legion got rid of my husband. There are changes afoot in the charity and instead of training up existing and loyal staff for new roles, a fair number were made redundant and put on the scrapheap.
Redundancy is tough to take. How can a welfare officer be redundant as in not needed when we have involvement in current conflicts and an ageing population including veterans with increasing needs? And why are new staff being recruited at the very same time as my ex-service husband and others are being tossed aside?
It is interesting how little the Legion are saying about this in public and via their media channels.
We are struggling. My husband had so much faith in and commitment to the Legion so his self-confidence and trust in others has taken a big blow. Unemployment is not fun and he is no longer a young man so may struggle to find a new role. That does not mean that he does not have a young family to support.
And that welfare charity, how have they supported us through this?
His boss made it difficult for him to attend interviews before he left work.
The Legion are saying they will only confirm periods of employment and not let local bosses give references. They make it feel like this was a case of misconduct when it was anything but (not on our side anyway)
We had a redundancy payment as the law insists.
We have had not one phone call, email or letter asking how we are doing as an ex-forces family. You know, the ones they purport to care about.
So I can’t find it in my heart to buy or wear a poppy this year.
That does not make me feel comfortable. In fact, it breaks my heart a little.
The unemployment situation may be resolved in the short or longer-term.
I am not sure I will ever feel the same way about the poppy and the Royal British Legion again. And that makes me sad.
43 years ago today, Mum and Dad set out to meet their new daughter.
I blogged about our special day here.
I still want the day to be special – remember, remember 5th November. I think at least one of my children thinks we say that purely because it is the anniversary of me coming to Mum and Dad.
I want the day to be special for the family in the longer term so that nobody forgets the great gift Mum and Dad gave me when they chose to adopt me.
When Mum and Dad were alive, there would be cards, cakes, presents, visits and phone calls.
Last year was my first special day without them both and it was so close to Dad’s death that I did not do much to record it.
This year and in future years, I want to come up with some sort of ceremony or ritual that can become a new family tradition so that my children and maybe theirs too know just how wonderful Irene and Kenneth were/are and what a wonderful adoption story was had by all with fireworks and everything.